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that which consists in birth, title, or riches: it is the most foreign to our natures, and what we can the least call our own of any of the three kinds of quality. In relation to the body, quality arises from health, strength, or beauty; which are nearer

his language of a merchant? It may possibly be in the power of a very shallow creature to lay the ruin of the best family in the most opulent city; and the more so, the more highly he deserves of his country; that is to say, the further he places his wealth out of his hands, to draw home that of an-to us, and more a part of ourselves than the former.

other climate.

In this case an ill word may change plenty into want, and by a rash sentence a free and generous fortune may in a few days be reduced to beggary. How little does a giddy prater imagine, that an idle phrase to the disfavour of a merchant, may be as pernicious in the consequence, as the forgery of a deed to bar an inheritance would be to a gentleman? Land stands where it did before a gentleman was calumniated, and the state of a great action is just as it was before calumny was offered to diminish it, and there is time, place, and occasion expected to unravel all that is contrived against those characters; but the trader who is ready only for probable demands upon him, can have no armour against the inquisitive, the malicious, and the envious, who are prepared to fill the cry to his dishonour. Fire and sword are slow engines of destruction, in comparison of the babbler in the case of the merchant.

Quality, as it regards the mind, has its rise from knowledge or virtue; and is that which is more essential to us, and more intimately united with us than either of the other two.

The quality of fortune, though a man has less reason to value himself upon it than on that of the body or mind, is however the kind of quality which makes the most shining figure in the eye of the world.

As virtue is the most reasonable and genuine source of honour, we generally find in titles an intimation of some particular merit that should recommend men to the high stations which they possess. Holiness is ascribed to the pope; majesty to kings; serenity or mildness of temper to princes; excellence or perfection to ambassadors; grace to archbishops; honour to peers; worship or venerable behaviour to magistrates; and reverence, which is of the same import as the former, to the inferior clergy.

In the founders of great families, such attributes of honour are generally correspondent with the vir tues of the person to whom they are applied; but in the descendants, they are too often the marks rather of grandeur than of merit. The stamp and denomination still continues, but the intrinsic value

For this reason, I thought it an inimitable piece of humanity of a gentleman of my acquaintance, who had great variety of affairs, and used to talk with warmth enough against gentlemen by whom he thought himself ill dealt with; that he would never let any thing be urged against a merchant (with whom he had any difference) except in a court of justice. He used to say, that to speak illis frequently lost. of a merchant was to begin his suit with judgment and execution. One cannot, I think, say more on this occasion, than to repeat, that the merit of the merchant is above that of all other subjects: for while he is untouched in his credit, his hand-writing is a more portable coin for the service of his fellowcitizens, and his word the gold of Ophir to the country wherein he resides.-T.

No. 219.] SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1711.

Vix ea nostra voco.

OVID, Met. xiii. 141.

The death-bed shows the emptiness of titles in a true light. A poor dispirited sinner lies trembling under the apprehensions of the state he is entering on and is asked by a grave attendant how his holiness does? Another hears himself addressed to under the title of highness or excellency, who lies under such mean circumstances of mortality as are the disgrace of human nature. Titles at such a time look rather like insults and mockery than respect.

cedency set right.

Methinks we should have an ambition, if not to advance ourselves in another world, at least to preserve our post in it, and outshine our inferiors in virtue here, that they may not be put above us in a state which is to settle the distinction for eternity.

The truth of it is, honours are in this world under no regulation; true quality is neglected, virtue is oppressed, and vice triumphant. The These I scarce call our own. last day will rectify this disorder, and assign to THERE are but few men who are not ambitious every one a station suitable to the dignity of his of distinguishing themselves in the nation or coun-character. Ranks will be then adjusted, and pretry where they live, and of growing considerable among those with whom they converse. There is a kind of grandeur and respect, which the meanest and most insignificant part of mankind endeavour to procure in the little circle of their friends and acquaintance. The poorest mechanic, nay, the man who lives upon common alms, gets him his set of admirers, and delights in that superiority which he enjoys over those who are in some respects beneath him. This ambition, which is natural to the soul of man, might, methinks, receive a very happy turn; and, if it were rightly directed, contribute as much to a person's advantage, as it generally does to his uneasiness and disquiet.

I shall therefore put together some thoughts on this subject, which I have not met with in other writers; and shall set them down as they have occurred to me, without being at the pains to connect or methodize them.

All superiority and pre-eminence that one man can have over another, may be reduced to the notion of quality, which, considered at large, is either, that of fortune, body, or mind. The first is

Men in Scripture are called strangers and cojourners upon earth, and life a pilgrimage. Several heathen, as well as Christian authors, under the same kind of metaphor, have represented the world as an inn, which was only designed to furnish us with accommodations in this our passage. It is therefore very absurd to think of setting up our rest before we come to our journey's end, and not rather to take care of the reception we shall there meet with, than to fix our thoughts on the little conveniences and advantages which we enjoy one above another in the way to it.

Epictetus makes use of another kind of allusion, which is very beautiful, and wonderfully proper to incline us to be satisfied with the post in which Providence has placed us. We are here, says he, as in a theatre, where every one has a part allotted

to him. The great duty which lies upon a man is to act his part in perfection. We may indeed say, that our part does not suit us, and that we could act another better. But this, says the philosopher, is not our business. All that we are concerned in is to excel in the part which is given us. If it be an improper one, the fault is not in us, but in Him who has cast our several parts, and is the great disposer of the drama.*

sider the ill-consequence of such a match; you are fifty-five, I twenty-one. You are a man of business, and mightily conversant in arithmetic and making calculations; be pleased therefore to consider what proportion your spirits bear to mine; and when you have made a just estimate of the necessary decay on one side, and the redundance on the other, you will act accordingly. This perhaps is such language as you may not expect from a young lady; The part that was acted by this philosopher him- but my happiness is at stake, and I must talk self was but a very indifferent one, for he lived and plainly. I mortally hate you; and so, as you and died a slave. His motive to contentment in this my father agree, you may take me or leave me : but particular, receives a very great enforcement from if you will be so good as never to see me more, you the above-mentioned consideration, if we remember will for ever oblige, that our parts in the other world will be new cast, and that mankind will be there ranged in different stations of superiority and pre-eminence, in proportion as they have here excelled one another in virtue, and performed in their several posts of life the duties which belong to them.

There are many beautiful passages in the little apocryphal book, entitled, The Wisdom of Solomon, to set forth the vanity of honour, and the like temporal blessings which are in so great repute among men, and to comfort those who have not the possession of them. It represents in very warm and noble terms this advancement of a good man in the other world, and the great surprise which it will produce among those who are his superiors in this. "Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours. When they see it they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit, shall say within themselves, This was he whom we had some time in derision, and a proverb of reproach. We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honour. How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot among the saints!"†

If the reader would see the description of a life that is passed away in vanity and among the shadows of pomp and greatness, he may see it very finely drawn in the same placet In the mean time, since it is necessary, in the present constitution of things, that order and distinction should be kept up in the world, we should be happy if those who enjoy the upper stations in it, would endeavour to surpass others in virtue as much as in rank, and by their humanity and condescension make their superiority easy and acceptable to those who are beneath them, and if, on the contrary, those who are in meaner posts of life, would consider how they may better their condition hereafter, and by a just deference and submission to their superiors, make them happy in those blessings with which Providence has thought fit to distinguish them.-C.

No. 220.1 MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1711.
Rumoresque serit varios VIRG. Æn. xii 228.
A thousand rumours spreads.

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Sir, your most humble Servant,


"There are so many artifices and modes of false wit, and such a variety of humour discovers itself among its votaries, that it would be impossible to exhaust so fertile a subject, if you would think fit to resume it. The following instances may, if you think fit, be added by way of appendix to your discourses on that subject.

"That feat of poetical activity mentioned by Horace, of an author who could compose two hun dred verses while he stood upon one leg, has been imitated (as I have heard) by a modern writer; who, priding himself on the hurry of his invention, thought it no small addition to his fame to have each piece minuted with the exact number of hours or days it cost him in the composition. He could taste no praise until he had acquainted you in how short space of time he had deserved it; and was not so much led to an ostentation of his art, as of his dispatch:

-Accipe, si vis,

Accipe jam tabulas; detur nobis locus, hora,
Custodes: videamus uter plus scribere possit.
HOR. I Sat. iv. 14

Here's pen and ink, and time, and place; let's try
Who can write most, and fastest, you or I.-CREECH.
"This was the whole of his ambition; and there-
fore I cannot but think the flights of this rapid
author very proper to be opposed to those laborious
nothings which you have observed were the delight
of the German wits, and in which they so happily
got rid of such a tedious quantity of their time.

"I have known a gentleman of another turn of humour, who, despising the name of an author, never printed his works, but contracted his talent, and by the help of a very fine diamond which he wore on his little finger, was a considerable poet upon glass. He had a very good epigrammatic wit; and there was not a parlour or tavern window where he visited or dined for some years, which did not receive some sketches or memorials of it. It was his misfortune at last to lose his genius and his ring to a sharper at play, and he has not attempted to make a verse since.

"But of all contractions or expedients for wit, I admire that of an ingenious projector whose book I have seen. This virtuoso being a mathematician, has, according to his taste, thrown the art of poetry into a short problem, and contrived tables, by which any one, without knowing a word of grammar or sense, may to his great comfort be able to compose, or rather to erect, Latin verses. His tables are a

"WHY will you apply to my father for my love? I cannot help it if he will give you my person; but I assure you it is not in his power, nor even in my own, to give you my heart. Dear Sir, do but con-imagined. There was a projector of this kind named John

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This is no fiction of the Spectator's, as might naturally be Peter, who published a very thin pamphlet in Svo entitled, Artificial Versifying, a New Way to make Latin verses, Lond.


-Ab ovo

Usque ad mala

kind of poetical logarithms, which being divided No. 221.] TUESDAY, NOVEMBER, 13, 1711. into several squares, and all inscribed with so many incoherent words, appear to the eye somewhat like a fortune-telling screen. What a joy must it be to the unlearned operator to find that these words being carefully collected and writ down in order according to the problem, start of themselves into hexameter and pentameter verses? A friend of mine, who is a student in astrology, meeting with this book, performed the operation, by the rules there set down; he showed his verses to the next of his acquaintance, who happened to understand Latin; and being informed they described a tempest of wind, very luckily prefixed them, together with a translation, to an almanac he was just then printing, and was supposed to have foretold the last great storm.*

"I think the only improvement beyond this would be that which the late Duke of Buckingham mentioned to a stupid pretender to poetry, as a project of a Dutch mechanic, viz. a mill to make verses. This being the most compendious method of all which have been yet proposed, may deserve the thoughts of our modern virtuosi who are employed in new discoveries for the public good; and it may be worth the while to consider, whether in an island where few are content without being thought wits, it will not be a common benefit, that wit as well as labour should be made cheap.

"I am, Sir, your humble Servant," &c. "MR. SPECTATOR,

"I often dine at a gentleman's house where there are two young ladies in themselves very agreeable, but very cold in their behaviour, because they understand me for a person that is to break my mind,' as the phrase is, very suddenly to one of them. But I take this way to acquaint them that I am not in love with either of them, in hopes they will use me with that agreeable freedom and indifference which they do all the rest of the world, and not to drink to one another only, but sometimes cast a kind look, with their service to,

"Sir, your humble Servant."


"I am a young gentleman, and take it for a piece of good-breeding to pull off my hat when I see any thing peculiarly charming in any woman, whether I know her or not. I take care that there is nothing ludicrous or arch in my manner, as if I were to betray a woman into a salutation by way of jest or humour; and yet except I am acquainted with her, I find she ever takes it for a rule, that she is to look upon this civility and homage I pay to her supposed merit, as an impertinence or forwardness which she is to observe and neglect. I wish, Sir, you would settle the business of salutation; and please to inform me how I shall resist the sudden impulse I have to be civil to what gives an idea of merit; or tell these creatures how to behave themselves in return to the esteem I have for them. My affairs are such that your decision will be a favour to me, if it be only to save the unnecessary expense of wearing out my hat so fast as I do at present. "I am, Sir, yours,

HOR. Sat. 3. 1. 1. v. 6. From eggs, which first are set upon the board, To apples ripe, with which it last is stor❜d. WHEN I have finished any of my speculations it is my method to consider which of the ancient authors have touched upon the subjects that I treat of. By this means I meet with some celebrated thought upon it, or a thought of my own expressed in better words, or some similitude for the illustration of my subject. This is what gives birth to the motto of a speculation, which I rather choose to take out of the poets than the prose-writers, as the former generally give a finer turn to a thought than the latter, and by couching it in few words, and in harmonious numbers, make it more portable to the memory.

My reader is therefore sure to meet with at least one good line in every paper, and very often finds his imagination entertained by a hint that awakens in his memory some beautiful passage of a classic author.

It was a saying of an ancient philosopher,* which I find some of our writers have ascribed to Queen Elizabeth, who perhaps might have taken occasion to repeat it, that a good face is a letter of recommendation. It naturally makes the beholders inquisitive into the person who is the owner of it, and generally prepossesses them in his favour. A handsome motto has the same effect. Besides that it

always gives a supernumerary beauty to a paper, writer is engaged in what may appear a paradox to and is sometimes in a manner necessary, when the vulgar minds, as it shows that he is supported by good authorities, and is not singular in his opinion.

I must confess the motto is of little use to an un

learned reader, for which reason I consider it only as "a word to the wise." But as for my unlearned friends, if they cannot relish the motto, I take care to make provision for them in the body of my paper. If they do not understand the sign that is hung out, they know very well by it that they may meet with entertainment in the house; and I think I was never better pleased than with a plain man's compliment, who upon his friend's telling him that he would like the Spectator much better if he understood the motto, replied that "good wine needs no bush."

I have heard of a couple of preachers in a country town, who endeavoured which should outshine one another, and draw together the greatest congregation. One of them being well versed in the Fathers, used to quote every now and then a Latin sentence to his illiterate hearers, who it seems found themselves so edified by it, that they flocked in greater numbers to this learned man than to his rival. The other finding his congregation mouldering every Sunday, and hearing at length what was the occasion of it, resolved to give his parish a little Latin in his turn; but being unacquainted with any of the Fathers, he digested into his sermons the whole book of Que Genus, adding however such explications to it as he thought might be for the benefit of his people. He afterward entered upon As in Præsenti, which he converted in the same manner to the use of his parishioners. This in a very little "There are some that do know me, and won't time thickened his audience, filled his church, and

bow to me."


Viz. November 26, 1703.

"T. D.

routed his antagonist.

* Aristotle, or, according to some, Diogenes. See Diogenes I aertius, lib. v. cap. 1. n. 11.

The natural love to Latin, which is so prevalent in our common people, makes me think that my speculations fare never the worse among them for that little scrap which appears at the head of them; and what the more encourages me in the use of quotations in an unknown tongue, is, that I hear the ladies, whose approbation I value more than that of the whole learned world, declare themselves in a more particular manner pleased with my Greek


Designing this day's work for a dissertation upon the two extremities of my paper, and having already dispatched my motto, I shall, in the next place, discourse upon those single capital letters, which are placed at the end of it, and which have afforded great matter of speculation to the curious. I have heard various conjectures upon this subject. Some tell us that C is the mark of those papers that are written by the clergyman, though others ascribe them to the club in general: that the papers marked with R were written by my friend Sir Roger; that L signifies the lawyer, whom I have described in my second speculation; and that T stands for the trader or merchant. But the letter X, which is placed at the end of some few of my papers, is that which has puzzled the whole town, as they cannot think of any name which begins with that letter, except Xenophon and Xerxes, who can neither of them be supposed to have had any hand in these speculations.


In answer to these inquisitive gentlemen, who have inany of them made inquiries of me by letter, I must tell them the reply of an ancient philosopher, who carried something hidden under his cloak. A certain acquaintance desiring him to let him know what it was he covered so carefully: "I cover it," says he, on purpose that you should not know." I have made use of these obscure marks for the same purpose. They are, perhaps, little amulets or charms to preserve the paper against the fascination and malice of evil eyes: for which reason I would not have my reader surprised, if hereafter he sees any of my papers marked with a Q, a Z, a Y, an &c. or with the word Abracadabra.*

I shall however so far explain myself to the reader, as to let him know that the letters C, L, and X, are cabalistical, and carry more in them than it is proper for the world to be acquainted with. Those who are versed in the philosophy of Pythagoras, and swear by the Tetrachtys, that is the number four,† will know very well that the number ten, which is signified by the letter X (and which has so much perplexed the town), has in it many particular powers; that it is called by the Platonic writers the complete number; that one, two, three, and four put together make up the number ten; and that ten is all. But these are not mysteries for ordinary readers to be let into. A man must have spent many years in hard study before he can arrive at the knowledge of them.

We had a rabbinical divine in England, who was chaplain to the Earl of Essex, in Queen Elizabeth's time, that had an admirable head for secrets of this nature. Upon his taking the doctor of divinity's

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He divided this short text into many parts, and by discovering several mysteries in each word, made a most learned and elaborate discourse. The name of this profound preacher was Dr. Alabaster, of whom the reader may find a more particular account in Dr. Fuller's book of English Worthies. This instance will, I hope, convince my readers that there may be a great deal of fine writing in the capital letters which bring up the rear of my paper, and give them some satisfaction in that particular. But as for the full explication of these matters, I must refer them to time, which discovers all things.


No. 222.] WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1711.
Cur alter fratrum cessare, et ludere, et ungi,
Præferat Herodis palmetis pinguibus
HOR. 2 Ep. ii. 183.

Why, of two brothers, one his pleasure loves,
Prefers his sports to Herod's fragrant groves.-CRIECL


"THERE is one thing I have often looked for in your papers, and have as often wondered to find myself disappointed; the rather, because I think it a subject every way agreeable to your design, and by being left unattempted by others, it seems reserved as a proper employment for you; I mean a disquisition, from whence it proceeds, that men of the brightest parts, and most comprehensive genius, completely furnished with talents for any province in human affairs; such as by their wise lessons of economy to others, have made it evident that they have the justest notions of life, and of true sense în the conduct of it; from what unhappy contradictious cause it proceeds, that persons thus finished by nature and by art, should so often fail in the management of that which they so well understand, and want the address to make a right application of their own rules. This is certainly a prodigious inconsistency in behaviour, and makes much such a figure in morals, as a monstrous birth in naturals; with this difference only, which greatly aggravates the wonder, that it happens much more frequently: and what a blemish does it cast upon wit and learning in the general account of the world! In how disadvantageous a light does it expose them to the busy class of mankind, that there should be so many instances of persons who have so conducted their lives in spite of these transcendent advantages, as neither to be happy in themselves nor useful to their friends; when every body sees it was entirely in their own power to be eminent in both these characters! For my part, I think there is no reflection more astonishing, than to consider one of these gentlemen spending a fair fortune, running in every body's debt without the least apprehension of a future reckoning, and at last leaving not only his own children, but possibly those of other people, fellow, whom one would scarce suspect to have a by his means, in starving circumstances; while a human soul, shall perhaps raise a vast estate out of nothing, and be the founder of a family capable of being very considerable in their country, and doing many illustrious services to it. That this observation is just, experience has put beyond all dispute.

But though the fact be so evident and glaring, yet men addicted to delights, business is an interruptthe causes of it are still in the dark; which makes ion; to such as are cold to delights, business is an me persuade myself, that it would be no unaccept-entertainment. For which reason it was said to able piece of entertainment to the town, to inquire one who commended a dull man for his application, into the hidden sources of so unaccountable an evil. "No thanks to him; if he had no business, he "I am, Sir, your most humble Servant." would have nothing to do."

What this correspondeut wonders at, has been


O suavis anima! qualem te dicam bonam

Antehac fuisse, tales cum sint reliquiæ !-PHDR. iii. Î. 5. O sweet soul! how good must you have been heretofore,

when your remains are so delicious!

matter of admiration ever since there was any such No. 223.] THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1711. thing as human life. Horace reflects upon this inconsistency very agreeably in the character of Tigellius, whom he makes a mighty pretender to economy, and tells you, you might one day hear him speak the most philosophic things imaginable concerning being contented with a little, and his contempt of every thing but mere necessaries; and in half a week after spend a thousand pounds. When he says this of him with relation to expense, he describes him as unequal to himself in every other circumstance of life. Indeed, if we consider lavish men carefully, we shall find it always proceeds from a certain incapacity of possessing themselves, and finding enjoyment in their own minds. Mr. Dryden has expressed this very excellently in the character of Zimri:

A man so various that he seem'd to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome.
Stiff in opinion, always in the wrong,
Was every thing by starts, and nothing long!
But in the course of one revolving moon,
Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon.
Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking.
Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking;
Bless'd madman, who could every hour employ
In something new to wish, or to enjoy!
In squand'ring wealth was his peculiar art,
Nothing went unrewarded but desert.

WHEN I reflect upon the various fate of those multitudes of ancient writers who flourished in Greece and Italy, I consider time as an immense ocean, in which many noble authors are entirely swallowed up, many very much shattered and damaged, some quite disjointed and broken into pieces, while some have wholly escaped the common wreck; but the number of the last is very small,

Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto.-VIRG. Æn. i. ver. 122,
One here and there floats on the vast abyss.

Among the mutilated poets of antiquity there is none whose fragments are so beautiful as those of Sappho. They give us a taste of her way of writing, which is perfectly conformable with that extraordinary character we find of her in the remarks of those great critics who were conversant with her works when they were entire. One may see by what is left of them, that she followed nature in all her thoughts, without descending to those little points, conceits, and turns of wit with which many of our modern lyrics are so miserably infected. Her soul seems to have been made up of love and poetry. She felt the passion in all its warmth, and described it in all its symptoms. She is called by ancient authors the tenth muse; and by Plutarch is compared to Cacus the son of Vulcan, who breathed out nothing but flame. I do not know by the character that is given of her works, whether it is not for the benefit of mankind that they are lost. They are filled with such bewitching tenderness and rapture, that it might have been dangerous to have given them a reading.

This loose state of the soul hurries the extravagant from one pursuit to another; and the reason that his expenses are greater than another's, is, that his wants are also more numerous. But what makes so many go on in this way to their lives' end, is, that they certainly do not know how contemptible they are in the eyes of the rest of mankind, or, rather, that indeed they are not so contemptible as they deserve. Tully says, it is the greatest of wickedness to lessen your paternal estate. And if a man would thoroughly consider how much worse than banishment it must be to his child, to ride by An inconstant lover, called Phaon, occasioned the estate which should have been his, had it not great calamities to this poetical lady. She fell desbeen for his father's injustice to him, he would beperately in love with him, and took a voyage into smitten with the reflection more deeply than can be understood by any but one who is a father. Sure there can be nothing more afflicting, than to think it had been happier for his son to have been born of any other man living than himself.

It is not perhaps much thought of, but it is certainly a very important lesson, to learn how to enjoy ordinary life, and to be able to relish your being without the transport of some passion, or - gratification of some appetite. For want of this capacity, the world is filled with whetters, tipplers, cutters, sippers, and all the numerous train of those who, for want of thinking, are forced to be ever exercising their feeling or tasting. It would be hard on this occasion to mention the harmless smokers of tobacco, and takers of snuff.

Sicily, in pursuit of him, he having withdrawn himself thither on purpose to avoid her. It was in that island, and on this occasion, she is supposed to have made the Hymn to Venus, with a translation of which I shall present my reader. Her Hymn was ineffectual for procuring that happiness which she prayed for in it. Phaon was still obdurate, and Sappho so transported with the violence of her passion, that she was resolved to get rid of it at any price.

There was a promontory in Acarnania called Leucate, on the top of which was a little temple dedicated to Apollo. In this temple it was usual for despairing lovers to make their vows in secret, and afterward to fling themselves from the top of the precipice into the sea, where they were sometimes The slower part of mankind, whom my corre- taken up alive. This place was therefore called spondent wonders should get estates, are the more the Lover's Leap; and whether or no the fright they immediately formed for that pursuit. They can had been in, or the resolution that could push them expect distant things without impatience, because to so dreadful a remedy, or the bruises which they they are not carried out of their way either by often received in their fall, banished all the tender violent passion, or keen appetite to any thing. To sentiments of love, and gave their spirits another

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